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Self-Improvement is the search to become a better person in life. The Oxford Advanced American Dictionary defines self-improvement as “the process by which a person improves their knowledge, status, character, etc. by their own efforts.” This may involve improving mental and physical health within your personal and professional life. Some examples include enhancing nutrition, creating a more active lifestyle, boosting family interactions, refining attitudes, and updating professional goals. Many times, self-improvement occurs organically due to our daily growth. However, many of us seek to change what we view as negative aspects of our behavior. How do we accomplish professional self-improvement?

A good first step is to identify the challenge, accept it, and plan a solution. This first step can be the toughest. Considering the pandemic, many workers and organizations are investing in mental wellness programs and benefits. Studies confirm that employees who are provided with time to devote to quality of life to accomplish personal goals, such as self-improvement and changing negative habits, tend to be more productive and happier. A study by the World Health Organization estimated that for every USD $1 put into treatment for common mental disorders such as depression or anxiety yields a return of USD $4 in improved health and productivity.

Consider these 5 tips for self-improvement in the professional space:

  1. Acquire additional success skills: Our knowledge, skills, and abilities vary dramatically from person to person. However, we can sharpen the skill sets that lead to educational, career, and life success.
  2. Challenge yourself: Learn a new language. Become a co-author of a book. Join a professional association. Challenge yourself to do more. Avoid boredom and fear of the unknown.
  3. Prioritize self-management: Time is viewed differently by every culture and yet it is impossible to control. You can self-manage your time if you start by analyzing a 5-7-day workweek. Identify your most productive times. Plan to accomplish your difficult tasks by preparing and organizing.
  4. Remember successful people fail: Accept that bumps in the road will occur. Learn to remain calm and breathe. Stay the course as disruptions are part of life. Focus on reaching the goal.
  5. Add meditation or yoga: With all the focus on doing, learn to add a segment of being. Add quiet times to a few mornings. I do it three days a week and it keeps me professionally sane.

During the month of September, reflect on self-improvement in your professional, mental, and physical lives. Taking time for self-improvement in your routine will lead to more success. Continue your excellent progress.

Sharon Schweitzer JD, is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Sharon served as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo PeopleHer Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.

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